Bellingham City Council
Action Taken at February 10, 2020 Meeting
Shall the council:
15. Authorize the mayor to sign a $175,000 settlement agreement with Joshua Travis? The following terms must be met by the plaintiff: dismissal of a lawsuit and resolution of all claims. Joshua Travis filed a federal lawsuit alleging that former Bellingham police officer Brooks Laughlin used excessive for during an arrest. He alleged that he suffered severe physical and emotional injuries. The charges against Joshua Travis were dismissed. Brooks Laughlin was sentenced to eight years in prison for domestic violence and violations of a no-contact order. (Discussed in Executive Session.) Approved 7-0
16. Authorize the mayor to sign a $41,767 settlement agreement for water damage? On 9/29/2019, a water main broke resulting in extensive water damage at 500 Bayside Road. The water swept away landscaping and damaged a brand new driveway. Cost of repairs — Landscaping: $23,267, driveway: $21,800 plus tax. (Discussed in Executive Session) Approved 7-0
17. Spend $410,000 to purchase 9.75 acres of property located in the Lake Whatcom Watershed? The purchase is as part of the the Lake Whatcom Watershed Property Acquisition Program in order to help protect the drinking water source of approximately 100,000 residents of Whatcom County. (Discussed in Executive Session.) Approved 7-0
18. Authorize the mayor to sign a development agreement for an alternative street standard for a portion of E. Kellogg Road? (Public hearing held.) In 1998, the City Council approved a utility service zone extension agreement to allow the Calvary Temple to develop its property, then located in the city’s Urban Growth Area, with a church and a 60-unit senior assisted living facility including municipal utilities. The agreement required the Calvary Temple to construct the portion of E. Kellogg Rd. abutting its property to a full arterial street standard. In 2019, Kellogg Properties purchased the senior assisted living facility property — the senior living facility had not been built. In November 2019, the Bellingham Hearing Examiner approved 30 single-family lots and two multifamily tracts on the property. This modified development agreement authorizes Kellogg Properties to construct the portion of E. Kellogg Road that abuts their properties to include a bike lane on the south side of the street and a ten-foot wide, separated, paved multimodal trail on the north side of the street — instead of the full arterial standard that includes bike lanes, curbs, gutters, and sidewalks on both sides of the street. (AB22554) Approved 7-0
19.Authorize the mayor to award the low bid of $1,595,621 to Faber Construction of Lynden for annual sanitary sewer rehabilitation project? The engineer’s estimate was $1,480,007. The annual project replaces and relines existing sanitary sewer mains throughout the city. Annual sewer rehabilitation projects are planned investments to preserve existing sewer infrastructure. The city received four bids; the high bid was $1,939,937. (AB22569) Approved 7-0
20. Authorize the mayor to award the low bid of $414,842 to Tiger Construction of Everson for Fountain Plaza development? The engineer’s estimate was $354,390. Broadway, Meridian and Monroe streets encompass the park. Work includes demolition of the existing concrete walkways and fountain, and constructing a new fountain, seat wall, landscaping, and concrete sidewalk. At the 4/16/2012 meeting, vote #74, the council accepted from the estate of Allyn C. Deets, four pieces of property to be used for the Fountain Plaza Park. At the 5/7/2012 meeting, vote #86, the council directed staff to sell the four pieces of property and use the proceeds to start a maintenance/operations fund for the park. A single bid for this projected was rejected at the 7/15/2019 meeting, vote #127, because it was $294,155 over the project budget. The city received five bids: the high bid was $614,699. It is anticipated that construction will begin in early spring. (AB22570) Approved 7-0
21. Appropriate $3,719,482 for payroll checks issued from January 1 through January 15, 2020? (AB22574) Approved 7-0
22. Appropriate $2,770,310 for goods and services checks issued from January 18 through January 31, 2020? (AB22575/22576) Approved 7-0
23. Authorize the mayor to sign the Whatcom Transportation Authority Bulk Bus Pass agreement? In 1991, the Washington State Legislature established the Commute Trip Reduction Act. The act requires employers of 100 or more employees to develop and implement a program to encourage their employees to reduce motor vehicle miles traveled and drive-alone trips. WTA provides quarterly bus passes to employees of the city as part of our participation with Whatcom Council of Governments in the Smart Trips program, one of the measures used to meet these commute trip reductions in compliance with the city’s Climate Action Plan. This vote appropriates approximately $15,000 annually to establish 25 percent discounted rates for the passes (92-day general fare only, currently valued at $70), as well as the responsibilities for the TouchPass equipment, including a barcode scanner and blank smartcards. (AB22577) Approved 7-0
24. Authorize the mayor to sign an agreement with the Port of Bellingham for mutual use of facilities? The city and the port have had a long-standing agreement for the mutual use of their facilities at no charge. The agreement allows up to three uses per agency, per year at the Bellingham Cruise Terminal, Squalicum Boathouse, Blaine Boating Center and the Technology Development Center located at 1000 F Street. The agreement will remain in effect unless terminated by either party upon 30 days written notice. (22578) Approved 7-0
25. Authorize the mayor to relinquish three surplus utility easements located in a vacated alley and street in block 2 of George A. Jenkins’ addition, and in vacated Ridgeway Drive between College Way and Highland Drive? (Public Hearing held.) In 1960 and 1969, the city of Bellingham vacated rights-of-way south of High Street and Highland Drive (known as 516 High Street) to facilitate the development of Western Washington University campus. Public Works has no plans to reserve said easement rights and since other utilities on the university’s site are held privately, further city uses of the remaining utility corridors are not required. A proposed city waterline that will bisect the retained easement areas in support of the university’s new construction has been created and will account for the required water facility and future maintenance. The university has requested that the easements be relinquished in order to facilitate a planned development project. AB22563 (Resolution 2020-05) Approved 7-0
26. Establish regulations for interim housing facilities? (Public hearing held at January 27 meeting.) Interim housing facilities are located in buildings or other permanent structures and have a longer operational duration than temporary shelters for people experiencing homelessness. The facilities would be allowed in certain zoning districts with administrative approval (type I or type II permit) or Bellingham Hearing Examiner approval (type III-a permit), depending on whether they are “smaller,” “midrange” or “larger.” Facilities with less potential impact (smaller building, fewer residents, off-site referral system, etc.) would be allowed in more areas and with a less stringent permit review process than larger facilities with more residents. This ordinance balances the needs of those being served with the concerns of single-family neighborhoods. AB22547 (Ordinance 2020-02-002) Approved 7-0
27. Amend regulations for temporary homeless shelters? (Public hearing held at January 27 meeting.) At the 10/22/2018 meeting, vote #170, regulations establishing zoning, health and safety standards were approved. These amendments: 1) allow temporary encampments in buildings to be established in public zones with a Type II permit, 2) require managing agencies of temporary shelters that are accessory to the primary religious use of a church building to demonstrate compliance with city building and fire codes or seek an exemption, 3) allow adverse weather shelters of very short duration to be established without a permit, and 4) provide the city with the ability to close a temporary shelter that is in violation of the requirements. Changes were made for consistency with the interim housing ordinance. AB22548 (Ordinance 2020-02-003) Approved 7-0
28. Amend the Fountain District Urban Village development regulations and permitted uses? At the 10/11/2010 meeting, vote #201, the council approved the Fountain District Urban Village subarea plan and associated development regulations. The area is named for the fountain at the corner of Meridian and Broadway; the area then stretches along Meridian and Elm streets to W. Illinois. This ordinance increases the allowable floor-area ratio in the commercial core area from 1.5 to 2.5 and in a portion of the commercial transition area from 0.6 to 1.5. It also increases the bicycle parking requirements to be consistent with other urban village regulations and amends the permitted uses in the commercial transition areas to allow “schools, art schools and institutions of higher education” as a conditional use. AB22516 (Ordinance 2020-02-004) Approved 7-0
Action Taken at February 24, 2020 Meeting
Shall the council:
29. Approve the mayor’s initial appointments to the Immigration Advisory Board (1)? At the 11/4/2019 meeting, vote #197, the council established the Immigration Advisory Board. The board will review and evaluate policies regarding compliance with state law and make specific recommendations regarding policies related to immigration matters, provide for data collection regarding contact between the city of Bellingham, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) or Customs and Border Protection, and periodically update the council. Jahn Zuniga Escobar, Ada Rumford, Rick Qualls, and Liz Darrow were appointed to one-year terms which expire on 2/24/2021, at which time they may be reappointed. Bridget Reeves, Katie Winkelman, Danielle Siedlecki, Rev. Seth Thomas, Maria Isabel Cortes-Zamora and Ramon Barba Torres were are appointed to two-year terms which expire on 2/24/2022, at which time they also may be reappointed. (AB22580) Approved 7-0
30. Authorize the mayor to award the low bid of $33,750 to Ram Construction of Bellingham for the annual alley grading equipment rental and services? The engineer’s estimate was $40,000. The contract provides a road grader and operator to assist city staff with grading of the 12 miles of gravel alley throughout the city. To extend the life of gravel alleys, Public Works grades the gravel alley surfaces annually to ensure the alleys have proper drainage, remove any growing vegetation, and provide a smoother surface for travel. This contract is for a contractor to provide the road grader and an operator to assist the city in performing this maintenance. The city received three bids: the high bid was $42,500. (AB22590) Approved 7-0
31. Appropriate $5,472,155 for goods and services checks issued from February 1 through February 14, 2020? (AB22591/22592) Approved 7-0
32. Set a fee for type III-a interim housing land use permits? Regulations for interim housing facilities was passed by the City Council at the 2/10/2020 meeting, vote #26. These regulations include a tiered permitting system, with type I, type II and type III-a permits required for each interim housing facility land use permit. The type of permit required is based on the size of the facility and zoning district in which it is located. The city has established the fee for type III-a interim housing land use permits (conditional use permits, which were approved by the Bellingham Hearing Examiner) at a reduced rate of $550, which is the standard hearing examiner fee for processing conditional use permits, plus a $53 notice fee. Fees must be in place prior to 2/25/2020. AB22587 (Resolution 2020-06) Approved 7-0
33. Adopt the 2020 Parks, Recreation & Open Space Plan? As part of the 2019-2020 Comprehensive Plan review docket, the Pro Plan was updated through a robust public process and Type VI legislative action. An updated Parks, Recreation, and Open Space Plan is required by state and federal agencies in order to qualify for parks and recreation funds, and this resolution documents City Council’s approval of the Pro Plan for the State of Washington Recreation and Conservation Office by the March 1 deadline. The Pro Plan will be adopted as the Parks, Recreation, and Open Space Chapter of the City’s Comprehensive Plan by a separate ordinance. AB22588 (Resolution 2020-07) Approved 7-0
34. Support two local options bills in the state Legislature? At the 2004 general election, Washington voters passed Initiative 872, in which the top two primary candidates advance to the general election. The system is for congressional and state-level elections. However, voter turnout in “top two” primaries is, without exception, significantly lower than the general election, isn’t reflective of the general electorate, and may motivate voters to engage in “strategic voting” whereby they vote to prevent a disfavored candidate from winning instead of casting a vote for their preferred candidate. An alternative to our “top two” primary system is ranked-choice voting, whereby instead of choosing just one candidate to support in a given race, voters rank the candidates running in the order of that voter’s preference (e.g. 1st choice, 2nd choice, 3rd choice), which makes a separate primary no longer necessary. This resolution supports passage of legislation that grants cities the option to implement the single transferable vote method of ranked-choice voting for City Council races and declares the city’s support for Washington State House Bill 1722 and Senate Bill 5708, as currently drafted. AB22589 (Resolution 2020-08) Approved 7-0
35. Support the creation of a publicly owned Washington State bank? In 2018, the state Legislature approved a budget proviso to contract the Evans School of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Washington to develop a business plan for a public bank in Washington — the report is expected to be delivered in 2020. The current proposal would create the Washington Investment Trust which would handle all state and local tax revenues and use the interest on the revenues to capitalize a state bank that can leverage those funds for the benefit of Washingtonians. Modeled after the state bank in North Dakota, the Washington State bank is projected to raise new revenue without raising taxes, drastically increase our public financing capacity to invest in infrastructure and other projects for public benefit, provide low interest student loans, and access to credit for small and local businesses, and eventually eliminate debt service to Wall Street while building huge financing capacity for future generations. AB22530 (Resolution 2020-09) Approved 7-0
Immigration Advisory Board Appointments:
1. Jahn Escobar, a member of Raid Relief to Reunite Families, is an immigrant who had been detained in an 8/29/19 raid and held in Tacoma for five months, and brings this experience to the board.
2. Ada Rumlord, a one-time resident of New York City and first-generation American, is a digital marketing project panager and has a masters in global management from Thunderbird School of Global Management and bachelor of arts from University of Washington.
3. Rick Qualls, local minister and board member of the Lighthouse Mission, has served as director of the cold weather shelter from 2016-2019 and the Severe Weather Shelter in 2019, and has been to the Philippines as a missionary.
4. Liz Darrow, a 20-year resident who lives in the Lettered Streets neighborhood and serves on their Neighborhood Board, was involved in the creation of the Immigration Advisory Board.
5. Bridget Reeves, associate executive director for the Lighthouse Mission, has a BA from WWU and a masters of divinity from Western Seminary.
6. Katie Winkelman is currently a board member of the PNW IDEA committee, and has volunteered for Whatcom Habitat for Humanity from 2017-2019 and for Lydia Place from 2016-2018.
7. An immigrant herself, Danielle Siedlecki is a long-term case manager at Northwest Regional Council with a 45 percent immigrant caseload and has acted as case manager and shelter supervisor from 2012-2015 at Agape Home.
8. Seth Thomas, pastor for St. James Presbyterian Church in Fairhaven, is a board member of the Interfaith Coalition.
9. An immigrant from Colombia, Maria Cortes-Zamora teaches social studies at LaVenture Middle School with an extensive background in education and received President Obama’s Community Service Honor Roll with distinction in 2012.
10. Ramon Torres serves as president of the Farmworker Union and Familias Unidas por la Justicia.